OSHA “Virtual Stakeholders” Combustible Dust Chat Recap

In case you missed it, the folks at OSHA recently held a “virtual stakeholders” web chat to discuss issues related to upcoming combustible dust regulations with concerned industry members.

OSHA began the chat by identifying these key items for discussion, with a goal of eliciting industry thoughts and opinions:

  • Definition of combustible dust and use of Kst values
  • Use of performance-based and specification-based approaches towards regulations
  • Special considerations for grain handling facilities and grain dust
  • Costs and benefits of proposed regulations

In responding to questions posed during the chat, OSHA also addressed the following:

  • Explosibility testing facilities (likely to remain private)
  • Increased hazards during plant clean-ups (they’re looking for input on engineering and administrative controls)
  • Role that NFPA standards on combustible dust will play in OSHA regulations (they may influence OSHA’s thinking)
  • Outreach training (OSHA plans to develop and provide it)
  • Employee participation in testing (OSHA seeks input)
  • Hazard communication issues regarding combustible dust (OSHA is currently revising its standard for hazard communication and will seek to make the revised hazard communication standard and new combustible dust standard be consistent)
  • Combustible dust regulation in areas without containment (they would still apply, as deflagration and flash fire risk still exist)

In the chat, OSHA explains that their “next step is to initiate the review under the small business regulatory enforcement fairness act (SBREFA) in April 2011.” Until then, check the chat history at http://www.dol.gov/dol/chat/chat-osha-20100628.htm, view the follow-up questions on the Department of Labor’s new blog at http://social.dol.gov/blog/ (try searching for “combustible dust” at that page), and stay tuned for more from OSHA in April, 2011.

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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